1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    Griant Trance vs Motobecane Fantom

    I'm pretty new to mountain biking but have been riding consistently for the last year now. My current bike is a Giant Revel 1, it works for now. However, I'm looking to get a something new and want to get into the sport a little more so a new bike is in the works. I've been doing some research and I'm pretty sure I want a 29er with a full suspension with an option to lock out. I'm looking at the best bang for the buck but will also allow me to build as parts wear down. I've been looking at two different bikes the Giant Trance and the Motobecane Fantom FS. Bottom line I need some help with my decision because truth be told I really don't know what to look for in a bike. I have thought about buying one on CL but I could never find one I like. The type of riding I do is mainly the hills and trails in Fort Ord. I plan on riding in the Santa Cruz Mountains as well as entering in the Sea Otter Classic next April. Anyhow, I hope this give you an idea of what I plan on doing with my new bike. Here are some links at what I'm looking at. SRAM X9, 3x10 Speed 29er Full Suspension Mountain Bikes - MTB - 2012 Motobecane Fantom 29er | SRAM X9 full suspension mountain bikes | Save up to 60% off list prices on new bicycles the other is Giant Trance which is at the top of my price range Trance X 29er 2 (2013) - Bikes | Giant Bicycles | United States

  2. #2
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    My vote would be for the Giant. Hands down.

  3. #3
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    I didn't like the Giant much, but if I could have one of them free, that would be my choice.

    Since you already have a bike, you don't need to buy one in order to start mountain biking. I've been going to demo days from time to time for ages. It's kind of fun, and my own bike doesn't get jealous. I've also been curious about FS bikes, more so since I started being able to afford one. It's actually taken me a while to ride some that I've liked, and I have demoed a Giant. Can't remember if it was the Trance or Anthem, they're such nearly interchangeable bikes... Anyway, my advice to you would be to demo a bunch of bikes. FS linkages don't all ride the same as one another and the shock tune is pretty important.

    I used to ride Wilder Ranch all the time. I went to UCSC, so I could be on fire roads in ten minutes and singletrack in twenty, from my dorm room. Pretty awesome. There was even a piece of singletrack up the gulch in front of my dorm. You don't need full suspension to start riding the Santa Cruz mountains. I used to ride a Schwinn Mesa GSX. That was in 2000, during one of the periods of Schwinns trying to get back into shops. Anyway, go ride the trails you've been waiting for now. Or on Saturday, if you have a job and a life and stuff.

    And, start demoing bikes, renting bikes, borrowing bikes, whatever. Don't spend money until one of them impresses you. To give the bike a decent shot, try to get some help with suspension setup - a FS bike can really ride like ass if it's set up all wrong, even if it's a really great bike.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  4. #4
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    The Fantom has better components across the board for less money. Suspension design is a little bit different but the are both really good.

  5. #5
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    I'd choose the Giant every day of the week and twice on Sunday. I did the mail order bike thing (Sette Flite) and eventually wound up back at the bike shop looking for a better ride.

    Here's why I'd go Giant:

    1. Impossible to know if the moto fits right and puts you in a comfy position. This can't be understated enough. I spent two years trying to convince myself that my Sette had the right fit and feel. In retrospect, it wasn't a good fit for me (it was horrendous in fact).

    2. Giants rear suspension design is so superior to the faux bar moto design, they don't even compare. Giant will climb better (more comfortably) with less pedal Bob on the ups. It will descend better without the brake jack on the downs. That's what I hated the most on my Sette (uses the same design) - rear brake = locked out rear suspension.

    3. 2x10 drive train is better than 3x10. Lighter, simpler, less redundancy.

    4. Giants 120mm of travel vs Moto's 100mm. Bigger is better, right?


    If you ride a lot, get the Giant and upgrade. If you are a casual rider doing short rides once or twice a month, save some money and get the Moto...

    It would also be nice to compare weights on the two...

  6. #6
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    I don't mind hardtails from mail order places, but when it comes to FS I want the highest quality frame I can get for the price.

    Giant trance.

    Sent from my LG-P769 using Tapatalk

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcrn12 View Post
    My vote would be for the Giant. Hands down.
    I agree

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by htek View Post
    I'd choose the Giant every day of the week and twice on Sunday.
    Amen, the Trance is a lot more bike.

  9. #9
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    Love my Trance. It's a heck-uv-a-bike.

    Also: if you're buying new, the Giant will come with a lifetime frame warranty.
    "Never trust a man in a blue trench coat. Never drive a car when you're dead." -- Tom Waits

  10. #10
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    Ill try to demo some bikes but I really need to replace my giant Revel 1. I'm simply tired of people passing me on my bike. Did I mention that I always seem to have problem with my bike from shifting through the gears, cassettes wearing out, brakes not working the best and chains breaking. It's been a good beginner bike but its really time for an upgrade. I'm kind of leaning to the Motobecane either that model or the one right above but first I will demo some bikes before I purchase. Now I just need to find a shop that will allow me to demo a bike.

  11. #11
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    I have a Motobecane hardtail and it was a good bike for what I could afford at the time, but I've seen the Phantom Full Suspension frames in person and even though I'm not a huge fan of Giant I would still take the Trance over the Moto.

    The best reason for me is re-sale value, you'll never get much out of a motobecane bike/frame if you choose to upgrade down the road. I'm also betting the trance is much better designed/built than the moto.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loots06 View Post
    Ill try to demo some bikes but I really need to replace my giant Revel 1. I'm simply tired of people passing me on my bike. Did I mention that I always seem to have problem with my bike from shifting through the gears, cassettes wearing out, brakes not working the best and chains breaking. It's been a good beginner bike but its really time for an upgrade. I'm kind of leaning to the Motobecane either that model or the one right above but first I will demo some bikes before I purchase. Now I just need to find a shop that will allow me to demo a bike.
    I'm not saying not to buy a new bike. I can't seem to go two years without buying a bike, although I don't always buy new. But people are passing you on your bike because they're stronger. Components on all bikes ridden off-road wear out. If your chains are breaking, you're probably doing something wrong. If I lent you my shiny new bike (I wouldn't!) you'd have the same problems.

    It doesn't cost very much to nail the important points on your existing bike. If you never set it up well, that's huge. Fit is really important. There may not be much you can do about suspension setup, but if it's really problematic, a rigid fork costs about $75 at retail. Use a saddle, pedals and tires you like, and find "your" tire pressure. The most expensive part of all that is probably the tires.

    Next, take care of it.
    Chain Maintenance
    Park Tool Co. » ParkTool Blog » Front Derailleur Adjustments
    Park Tool Co. » ParkTool Blog » Rear Derailler Adjustments (derailleur)
    http://cdn.sram.com/cdn/farfuture/bN...l_bb7__bb5.pdf

    If you haven't been wearing your chains into the ground before breaking them, it's your shifting technique. You need to be pedaling when you shift but if you have a ton of tension on the chain, it may not work. You also need to pedal at least a full rotation after shifting before ratcheting. If you cross-chain a lot, you may break chains when you ratchet without even shifting (on purpose, anyway) beforehand. I've broken a few chains myself. For a little while, I thought maybe I just needed the object lesson once a season, because it's not like I didn't know how to shift. But it's always been user error.

    Anyway, getting your bike sorted out should distract you for a bit, and having your current bike function better will help it tide you over better while you look for local options you can demo. Also, you'll be able to pull a lot more of its potential out of the new ride. And if your setup was really off, you may find you want a different size when you get your new bike; better to find that out now.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  13. #13
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    Yes, upgrade, if you only got passed by people that are stronger than you why does anyone ever by a new bike? Bike matters for sure, to a certain point. You will get stronger too.

    I think the Giant as well, it would be nice to buy from a shop, a lot of times they will throw in some free tune ups and that will help with some of the problems you have been having with the old bike. The brakes are much better on the Giant, those low end Avids can be a huge pain in the a$$, or so I have read on these forums, but most people seem to love shimano's. I have a set of Deore hydros on one of my bikes and have never had a problem.

    Good luck, it's a great time when a new bike arrives.
    I'm sick of all the Irish stereotypes, as soon as I finish this beer I"m punching someone

  14. #14
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    Are you stuck om the idea of buying a Giant. Is was my understanding that they were abandoning their 29er line because they did not build great geometry 29ers. They were making a huge push toward their 650bs. I think they are actually scraping 29ers completely. If you are going to make the attempt at buying a new full-suspension I would make sure that you like the bike. I understand the bang for your buck concept, but I think you are better off test riding bikes and choosing what rides best. You do not want to spend a good bit of money and then regret doing so.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisonabike View Post
    Are you stuck om the idea of buying a Giant. Is was my understanding that they were abandoning their 29er line because they did not build great geometry 29ers. They were making a huge push toward their 650bs. I think they are actually scraping 29ers completely. If you are going to make the attempt at buying a new full-suspension I would make sure that you like the bike. I understand the bang for your buck concept, but I think you are better off test riding bikes and choosing what rides best. You do not want to spend a good bit of money and then regret doing so.
    Did not build great geo bikes? lmao. where does this stuff come about? The Trance and Anthem are 2 awesome bikes in 29er! Also why do people get so hung up on Geo specs?
    Giants thought process of going 27.5 is just mind boggling since people like the 29er version over the 27.5 versions, lol.

  16. #16
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    If you read anything that Giant has released in the last six months they certainly do not seem to indicate that they think that their 29ers are their strong suit. I have a hard time spending 2k+ on bike whose company is not proud of them. I do not think that the Motobecane is the way to go either. Bike shops typically make a big push this time of year to get rid of the 2013 inventory. I would make sure that I hit all of the local shops to make sure I was getting the best deal.

  17. #17
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    Its marketing, pushing the new latest and greatest new bikes.lol.

  18. #18
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    Who cares if its Giants second to last 29er or not. It's a good bike.

    New models keep coming out every year with different specs, wheel size being just one of them. I don't see the advantage in your old bikes wheel size matching the latest models.

  19. #19
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    The Trance 27.5 is awesome, you get a bit of both worlds. If I had the $$$ I would have a 27.5 Trance right now and retire my trusty reliable fun Talon 29er.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raven7 View Post
    Did not build great geo bikes? lmao. where does this stuff come about? The Trance and Anthem are 2 awesome bikes in 29er! Also why do people get so hung up on Geo specs?
    Giants thought process of going 27.5 is just mind boggling since people like the 29er version over the 27.5 versions, lol.
    Because geometry is pretty important, it determined the 29er I have now. I demoed the 27.5 version and that bike was killer awesome (especially if made lighter). I'd get it over 29er...well really i'd get the Anthem 27.5 over it for my kind of riding.

  21. #21
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    I'm back and unfortunately I never purchased a pick. However, I have decided not to go with either of these bikes, seems that I just can't decide. Anyway, I been looking for months and have a few more options. 2011 Felt Nine race, Its new although older and been sitting at the bike shop for a few years. The other two options, 2012 Redline D680, or a Scott Spark 960 Full suspension.

    Felt is stock with Hayes Stroker trail brakes, and Shimano SLX shifters, Rockshox Reba RL29 forks, $1600, i think I could get it for $1500

    The Redline is also new, he wants $1400, I gonna offer $1200

    Scott, is new and at close out for under a grand...Seems like a deal. But its a full suspension. I'm a bigger guy at 6'3" and 230 I wonder if I should even consider the FS.

  22. #22
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    I've actually scored a Scott Spark since the last time I posted in here and absolutely love it! The geometry and cockpit is feels so awesome. The other bonus is the adjustable geometry, high mode for playful quick XC handling, low mode for a more slack all mountain feel.

    Also the twinloc is awesome once I got used to using it. They really have something here. I love being able to lock it out just for a quick sprint of G-out. I only have the open or full lockout on mine which i don't mind as I like temporarily holding the lever with out actually locking it for short sprints etc.

    I bought mine used though... would love to have the carbon version.
    2012 Scott Spark 29 Team
    2013 Scott Scale 970
    2011 Scott Speedster S20
    1999 Specialized FSR Comp

  23. #23
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    From what I've read the Scott has pretty good reviews. I'm leaning that way because of the price and could always mod after that.

  24. #24
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    Well after months of searching I finally purchased a new bike. I decided to go with the Redline D680 over the others. Simply put the components are much better and very noticeable when going through the gears. I liked the Scott 960 and at a close out price of a grand it was hard to pass up. But it was hard up pass on the components of Redline. I'll post pics later.

  25. #25
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    Cool/funny thread.
    Shocked you didn't get the Scott if its from a LBS... Have a link to that deal?

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